Getting backlinks can seem like a daunting task. How do you get other businesses to link to your site online?
If you don’t have any backlinks yet you can get up and running pretty quickly by tapping your existing partners and resources within your community. Things like the local chamber of commerce online listings, alumni directories for the founders’ schools, and church and community directories are great places to start. This is the low-hanging fruit, and getting these backlinks set up is a great way to ease into the next steps in a backlink strategy.
Once you’ve established those links, it’s time to move onto more advanced tactics. Gathering more backlinks should be an ongoing effort, and if you’re looking for legitimate ways to get backlinks, these are the best way to do it.
Research Competitors Backlinks
Start by investigating your competitors. Where are they getting backlinks? Are they in industry databases or local publications that list providers in their city? Once you’ve discovered these additional places where you can be listed, it’s sometimes as easy as filling out a simple form to get your business listed.
Update Existing Content
Hopefully, you already have some content on your site. Sometimes, there’s an opportunity to restructure or refresh the content you already have in order to generate backlinks.
Do you have any blog posts that list providers or tools that are helpful for your readers? Take a look through the list and add some new businesses onto these lists. Then, reach out to these businesses to let them know their service or tool has been featured; they’ll want to let their customers know that they got a shout-out on an outside site, and so you’ll likely get a backlink from them.
Submit Guest Posts
Guest blogging has long been a popular, more advanced way to get backlinks. Reaching out to relevant sites and writing a guest post on their blog is a great way to get links. However, over the years the trend of guest posting has waned a bit, so it’s now more difficult to get a guest blogging gig.
It’s worth the try, though! Put together a targeted list of blogs and publications that would be a solid fit for a strategic partner for your business. Write a compelling, error-free pitch email, outlining the topics you could write about and why it would bring real value to their audience. Tailor your pitch to each blog’s specific audience, and take the time to research who you’re emailing so that you can send a personalized message. Finally, feel free to follow up with your contact in a respectful way if you don’t hear back initially.
Join a Podcast
While guest blogging seems to be falling out of favor, guest podcasting is my new favorite way to get backlinks. Just like with guest blogging, guest podcasting is great because it allows you to tap into the existing audience of the brand of the podcast you’re appearing on.
And there’s an additional benefit that guest blogging doesn’t have: It’s very little additional work. While writing a blog post requires research, writing, editing, and selecting photos and relevant emails, when you are a guest on a podcast, you simply show up and talk about what you do every day. You’re an expert in your field, and you can speak comfortably on your topic with little preparation. And with most podcasts, you can call in from wherever you are to speak with the host, so within the 30 minutes or so that it takes to do the interview, you have generated great backlinks.
A service such as Podcast Bookers can get you set up a pitched to podcasts very quickly.
Write up a Report
While it’s sometimes challenging to convince others to let you guest blog, if you have exclusive research to share, you can capture everyone’s attention. Offering up research is a great way to get media links and to even open guest blogging doors.
Yes, exclusive research takes time. However, if you are able to partner with one of your existing business relationships, you can both reap the benefits and halve the work. You and your strategic partner can tap into your networks to find people to interview for the research. Then divide and conquer when it comes to assembly the data and creating visually-appealing ways to share it.
Connect in New Content
How can you get attention and backlinks for new content you create? Mentioning relevant influencers, community members, or others in your posts is a great way to get re-shares on new content.
Of course, you shouldn’t just stuff names into posts for the sake of name dropping. Make sure that the people you’re mentioning are relevant to what you’re writing about. For example, let’s say you are a home remodeling business. Consider pulling together a series of posts featuring families you’ve done work for. If there’s anyone that’s a pillar of the community who they’ve worked with, ask if they’d be willing to be featured. Let’s say you helped the former mayor remodel her kitchen—ask her if she’d be willing to talk about the process and share how her new and improved kitchen has bettered her life.
Once the post goes live, let the person know and ask them to re-share with their network and followers.
Publish a Press Releases
With all of these new digital marketing tactics, it’s possible to forget about those tried-and-true methods. But press releases are still a great way to get attention and backlinks! Are you launching a new product or opening a new location? Did you make a big, announcement-worthy hire? Are you participating in a local community event? There are plenty of reasons you might write a press release.
If you need a refresher on how to write an effective press release, check out this guest post on our Duct Tape Marketing blog.
This is a long-game approach to getting backlinks, but it’s worth the effort. When you’re creating content, link out to tools and resources you genuinely like and think are helpful. If you’re featuring a specific tool or mentioning an individual person, you can email the business or person to let them know. But it’s good practice to include external links in every post, and many of those external links don’t warrant an email to the source.
However, it’s likely that the source is doing exactly what you’re doing: monitoring your online presence. They’ll see an alert that they’ve been linked out to, and that simple thing such as a link can get your brand on their radar screen. While they might not shout out that piece of content or link back to them right away, there may come a time in the future where they’re looking for a link to share that’s relevant to your client’s business, and it’s your site that they’ll turn to.
It’s important for you to build up a repository of backlinks. It matters for SEO ranking and your online reputation, and the more mentions you can get across the web, the more likely you are to win the attention of a new audience. But just as important as quantity is quality. A great marketing strategy can help you gather backlinks that are relevant to your business.